Dulce of Aragon

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Dulce of Aragon[1]
Queen consort of Portugal
D. Dulce de Barcelona, Rainha de Portugal - The Portuguese Genealogy (Genealogia dos Reis de Portugal).png
Dulce of Aragon, in Antonio de Hollanda's Genealogy of the Royal Houses of Spain and Portugal (1530–1534)
Born 1160
Died 1198 (aged 37–38)
Coimbra, Kingdom of Portugal
Burial Monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra
Spouse Sancho I of Portugal
Among others...
See Descendants
House Barcelona
Father Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona
Mother Petronilla of Aragon

Dulce of Aragon[a][b][3] (or of Barcelona)[4] (1160 – 1 September 1198) was Queen consort to King Sancho I of Portugal. As the eldest daughter of Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona and his wife, Queen Petronila of Aragon, she was the sister of the future King Alfonso II of Aragon.

Her bethrothal to infante Sancho, son Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, was celebrated when she was eleven years old and the marriage in 1174.[5][4] Not much is known about her life prior to her arrival in Portugal or of the wedding tokens she received upon her marriage.[6]

"A beautiful and excellent lady, quiet and modest, her personality coinciding with her name,"[c] Dulce was used as a commodity to seal an alliance which aimed to "strengthen Portugal and to contain the expansionism of Castile and León" and she played the role that was expected of her as a wife and as the mother of numerous children".[2][8] At the same time, the marriage compensated for the broken engagement of her husband's sister, Infanta Mafalda with her brother, the future king Alfonso II of Aragon.[2] With the death of King Afonso Henriques in 1185, her husband ascended the throne and she became Queen consort of Portugal. In his first will, executed in 1188, her husband gave her the income from Alenquer, of the lands along the banks of the Vouga River, of Santa Maria da Feira and of Oporto.[6]

Dulce did not live long after the birth of her last two daughters, Branca and Berengaria, probably twins, and died in 1198 probably succumbing to the plague and weakened by the successive childbirths. She was buried in the Monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra.[9]


Eleven children were born from her marriage to King Sancho, nine of whom reached adulthood:

  • Theresa (born 1175/1176),[2][6] she became the wife of King Alfonso IX of León and was beatified in 1705;
  • Sancha (1180 – 1229),[10] founded the Monastery of Celas near Coimbra where she lived until her death. Her sister Theresa arranged for her burial at the Monastery of Lorvão. She was beatified by Pope Clement XI in 1705, the same year as Theresa;[11]
  • Constanza (born in 1182), who "must have died before 1186 since her name is not registered in any of the documents of the chancellery of Sancho I which begins in that year";[6]
    Cloister of the Monastery of Santa Cruz where Dulce de Aragon was interred.
  • Afonso (23 de abril de 1186[12] – 1223), succeeded his father as the third king of Portugal;
  • Peter, (n. 1187[12] – 1258) spouse of Aurembiaix, countess of Urgell;
  • Ferdinand (1188[12] – 1233), count through his marriage to Joan, Countess of Flanders;
  • Henry, who died during infancy;[12]
  • Raymond, also died during his infancy;[12]
  • Mafalda (1195/1196[12] – 1256), the wife of Henry I of Castile, was beatified in 1793;
  • Branca (1198 – c. 1240), probably the twin sister of Berengaria,[12] she was raised in the court with her father and his mistress "a Ribeirinha" and, when she was eight or ten years old, was sent to live with her sisters at the Monastery of Lorvão. She was a nun at a convent in Guadalajara and was buried at the same monastery as her mother;[13]
  • Berengaria (1198 – 1221),[12] married Valdemar II of Denmark in 1214.[14]


  1. ^ "Dulce de Aragón, hija de Ramón Berenguer IV de Barcelona"[1]
  2. ^ "Dulce de Aragão, filha de Raimundo Berenguer IV..."[2]
  3. ^ Translation of "Formosa e excellente senhora, tranquilla e modesta, condizente no carácter com o nome" (Dulce means "sweet") according to Lucian Cordeiro.[7]


  1. ^ a b Mateu Ibars & Mateu Ibars 1980, p. 617.
  2. ^ a b c d Mattoso 2014, p. 334.
  3. ^ Rodrigues Oliveira 2010, p. 81.
  4. ^ a b Rodrigues Oliveira 2010, p. 83.
  5. ^ Mattoso 2014, pp. 290 and 334.
  6. ^ a b c d Rodrigues Oliveira 2010, p. 84.
  7. ^ Rodríguez Oliveira 2010, p. 83.
  8. ^ Rodríguez Oliveira 2010, pp. 83-84.
  9. ^ Rodrigues Oliveira 2010, pp. 55, 85 and 95.
  10. ^ Rodrigues Oliveira 2010, pp. 84 and 89.
  11. ^ Rodrigues Oliveira 2010, p. 89.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Rodrigues Oliveira 2010, p. 85.
  13. ^ Rodrigues Oliveira 2010, pp. 85 and 92.
  14. ^ Rodrigues Oliveira 2010, pp. 85 and 93.


Preceded by
Maud of Savoy
Queen consort of Portugal
Succeeded by
Urraca of Castile